Packaging Vs. Reality: Kraft Macaroni And Cheese Cups

Packaging Vs. Reality: Kraft Macaroni And Cheese Cups

Jay is smart, and knows that packaged food never quite turns out the way it looks on the box. It’s not physically possible. But he was surprised, when cooking a pre-packaged cup of Kraft macaroni and cheese from Costco, that the quantity of food-like substance in the cup didn’t really measure up to what was shown on the box. Is he overreacting, or is this really an unrealistic portrayal of the food product within? [More]

How Deep Does A Discount Have To Be For Before You Call It A "Good Deal?"

How Deep Does A Discount Have To Be For Before You Call It A "Good Deal?"

A study of “Groupon addicts” asked them to specify how low a markdown had to be before they considered it a “good deal.” These were some pretty tough customers. How do their standards match up to yours? [More]

Proponent Of Costing Banks More Money By Mailing Back Weighted Business Reply Envelopes Defends His Cause

Proponent Of Costing Banks More Money By Mailing Back Weighted Business Reply Envelopes Defends His Cause

Earlier this week I wrote about a viral video that promised you could “Keep Wall Street Occupied” by sending back credit card business reply envelopes stuffed with anti-corporate messages and wooden shims. The video said this would increase mailing costs for the banks and force them to engage in a dialogue with their customers. Responding to my review where I called this idea “terrible,” the video’s maker sent me a note defending his campaign. [More]

Credit Card Bumper Crop Boasts Low Teaser Rates, New Snags

Credit Card Bumper Crop Boasts Low Teaser Rates, New Snags

After being such prudes for so long, credit card companies are raising their hemlines and lowering their standards. They’re actively deluging customers with credit card offers and using low teaser rates as a crooked finger. However, they’re also coming with new hidden baggage you need to watch out for, like cash back rewards that are high, but have to be opted in again every few months. [More]

Here's An Idea: Credit Union Pays Members For Using Their Debit Cards

Here's An Idea: Credit Union Pays Members For Using Their Debit Cards

Instead of charging customers a $5 monthly fee for using their debit cards, one credit union is actually paying its members to use their debit cards. In a direct jab against the big banks, First Community Federal Credit Union is running a promotion that lets members earn up to $5 a month for swiping their debit card. [More]

What's A McRib Made Of?

What's A McRib Made Of?

There’s no rib in a McRib. There are about 70 other ingredients. The greatest amount of them come from ground-up low-value pork trimmings mixed together with salt and water to create “meat logs” that are then carved to size. So in what forest do you find a meat log? [More]

Sending Back Protest Messages In Pre-Paid Credit Card Envelopes Isn't Going To Occupy Wall Street One Bit

Sending Back Protest Messages In Pre-Paid Credit Card Envelopes Isn't Going To Occupy Wall Street One Bit

A YouTube video has racked up over 300,000 hits promoting the idea that you can really mess with the banks by sending back activist messages in those pre-paid response envelopes that come with the credit card junk mail. The theory is that if enough people do it, it will force people in the bank mailrooms to have a meeting about all these Occupy Wall Street slogans showing up in their mail, and making banks engage in a dialogue with their customers, revolutionizing how they operate to a way that’s more responsive to the common good. This is a terrible idea and a waste of time. [More]

Heinz To Sell Upmarket Version Of Ketchup

Heinz To Sell Upmarket Version Of Ketchup

Heinz didn’t get the message that it’s unfashionable to cater to the 1% crowd. They’re coming out with a 58th variety of ketchup. A kind for fancypants. It’s more “upscale” because it uses balsamic vinegar instead of white wine vinegar. [More]

Credit Cards To Sell Your Buying History So Online Advertisers Can Target You More Precisely

Credit Cards To Sell Your Buying History So Online Advertisers Can Target You More Precisely

How about a world where you swipe for a Big Mac and then the next time you go online you get an ad for Slimfast? That’s the big idea behind Visa and Mastercard’s new business foray: selling off all your swipe data to online advertisers so they can more precisely target their ads to what’s going on in your skull. It’s another nail in the coffin for the quaint fiction we call “online privacy.” [More]

The McRib Is Back, Temporarily

The McRib Is Back, Temporarily

The McRib is a flirtatious little pile of pork. On the menu, then off again, then up to individual franchises to decide whether to offer it, the boneless pork patty on a sesame bun is going to be back at McDonald’s again starting today through November 14th. [More]

Dish Hard-Sells Customers At Blockbusters

Dish Hard-Sells Customers At Blockbusters

Dish Network is making use of its new toy, Blockbuster, by coaxing customers at the rental stores into a lounge in an attempt to sign them up for service. Those who sit through the pitch receive a free month of Blockbuster By Mail and a free game or movie rental that day. [More]

Some See Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Stuff As Counterproductive Gimmickery

Some See Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Stuff As Counterproductive Gimmickery

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as you can tell from pink gloves worn by football players, pink drinks offered at restaurants and pink luxury items for sale wherever you look. While it’s laudable that so many industries that seem to have little to do with cancer prevention are lending a hand, some see the flood of pink as disingenuous marketing that does little to fund cancer research. [More]

Vicks Accidentally Says It's Been Around For 1,000 Years

Vicks Accidentally Says It's Been Around For 1,000 Years

A typo on the Vicks website makes it look as if Vicks is saying it’s been around for 1,000+ years. Yes, indeed, perhaps what really ended the Dark Ages was the discovery of Vaporub. With it, William the Conqueror’s congestion and coughing from hanging out in musty castles could be relieved and he could get on with the business of invading England and establishing a more unified and stable feudal system of governance. [More]

Walmart Launching 3500 Store-Specific Facebook Pages To Promo Local Deals

Walmart Launching 3500 Store-Specific Facebook Pages To Promo Local Deals

The one major criticism I’ve always leveled at Walmart is that the chain is just too small. If they were really doing things right, all our cities would be enclosed and connected in one long continuous Walmart where all our desires can be met at everyday low prices. To edge closer to that utopia, Walmart is launching several new Facebook pages. 3,500 of them. Each is pegged to a specific local store and will serve up deals just for that store. [More]

Verizon Internet To Share Your Location With Advertisers So You'll Get Ads "Of More Interest"

Verizon Internet To Share Your Location With Advertisers So You'll Get Ads "Of More Interest"

As a favor to you, Verizon internet says they’re going to start sharing your local geographical location to advertisers so you’ll get ads “of more interest.” For instance, “a pizza chain may want to deliver their ad to give a special offer to people living in a particular area.” Here’s how to opt out. [More]

Watch A Dancing Patrick Swayze Shill For Pabst Blue Ribbon in 1979

Watch A Dancing Patrick Swayze Shill For Pabst Blue Ribbon in 1979

It may be difficult to believe now, but there was once a time when people appreciated Pabst Blue Ribbon beer in a non-ironic fashion. That was around 1979, evidently, when this ad featuring a catchy faux-Bee Gees tune and a fresh-faced young Patrick Swayze hit the airwaves. [More]

Banks Marketing 1% APR Bank Accounts As "High-Yield"

Banks Marketing 1% APR Bank Accounts As "High-Yield"

Considering how “high-yield” savings accounts used to give returns of 4-5%, reader Phil thinks it’s a bit disingenuous for banks to continue marketing them as such when the rates are only 1%. He sent in a picture of a recent piece of junk mail he got from American Express to illustrate. [More]

A Best Buy Flyer From '96

A Best Buy Flyer From '96

A Best Buy flyer from 1996 has resurfaced and it’s full of hilarious old technology and high prices. Gotta snag me a copy of Muppet Treasure Island for $34.99! [More]